About this iReport
  • Approved for CNN

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    Posted April 3, 2012 by
    Watertown, New York
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Does racism still exist, and where does it start?

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    Hate is a Learned Behavior..So is Love


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     Liberty1955 is a frequent video commenter.
    - nsaidi, CNN iReport producer

    "No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite."


    "Racism has historically been defined as the belief that race is the primary determinant of human capacities, that a certain race is inherently superior or inferior to others, and/or that individuals should be treated differently according to their racial designation.


    People are not born being racist just as they are not born knowing right from wrong. Racism is said to be something that is learned, according to Murray from the American Psychological Association.


    Children are born ,at least that is what is told by social scientists, with purity, with no predetermined hate of others. Therefore, one can conclude that children learn hatred, racism, and stereotyping. But where does it start from in the first place?


    Another contributing factor to racism is social and economic status. People are often judged by where they live, how much money they make, what type of car they drive and so on.


    According to CNN, in 2004 the percentage of Americans living under the poverty level was 12.5%. In this same year the percentage of African Americans living under the poverty level was 24.4%, almost twice the national level.


    This tends to cause a feeling of superiority amongst some people over the African Americans. This also may cause people to generalize all African Americans as “poor” since the number is so high.


    In a study done at the University of Michigan it was found that all minorities are viewed negatively by whites in terms of potential for violence.


    In the essay “Black Men and Public Space,” the author finds that people feel threatened by him because he is black. They see him as a potential danger to their safety and often choose to keep their distance from him even though in reality he poses no threat and is in fact a young grad student.


    In the same study done at Michigan it was also found that 45% of whites think blacks are lazy; 29% think blacks are unintelligent; less than one in five think Blacks are hard working; and 56% of whites feel that blacks would rather live on welfare than work.


    The location and environment of this study could also contribute to the results, however they are unknown. According to the national consensus in 2004 the unemployment rate of African Americans was 10.9 % whereas the unemployment rate and whites was 4.9%, and the unemployment rate of Hispanic Americans was 8.2%.


    This also contributes to the idea that “whites think blacks are lazy” therefore causing a feeling of racial superiority.


    Not all people who are racist are taught from their parents or an older generation. Sometimes it is the lack of diversity in the area in which one lives.


    Generally when people are unaccustomed to something they judge it. For example in Wallowa county racism is common due to lack of minorities in the area. One resident of the area acknowledges this also by adding that many of the children who live in the area don’t have much interaction with children of other races because there simply aren’t any in their schools. This also creates an atmosphere of racism


    These are just some of the causes of racism. There are numerous other factors that contribute the feeling of racial superiority that some people have over others. However the real problem is not only what causes these feelings of animosity but rather the atrocious outcomes that are a result of it."


    Most hatred is based on fear, one way or another."


    "A new society cannot be created by reproducing the repugnant past, however refined or enticingly repackaged."


    NELSON MANDELA, Nobel lecture, 1993


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